STAFFORDSHIRE Chief Constable Mike Cunningham is stepping down to take on a national policing role after being appointed as Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary, it was announced today.
His deputy, Jane Sawyers, will stand in as interim chief constable until a successor is appointed - and is in the running for the top job herself.
Home Secretary Theresa May said: “I am delighted to confirm Mike Cunningham as Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary.
“Mike brings a wealth of expertise and experience from his career in the police that will be invaluable in his new role and I look forward to working with him in the future.”
Mr Cuningham said: “I am honoured to have been appointed as Her Majesty's Inspector of Constabulary. I am looking forward to a new challenging and exciting role.
“I leave Staffordshire Police very proud of the men and women who keep people safe and reassured and I thank them for their outstanding work.
“I look to use the privileges and experiences I have enjoyed as a police officer to assist me in my future work."
Reacting to the appointment Staffordshire Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis said: “While I am sad that the Chief Constable is going, it is a great opportunity for him personally and also for the policing landscape nationally because of his extensive experience and expertise.
“Mike Cunningham is an excellent Chief Constable and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working so closely with him during the last 18 months. He has embraced the changes to policing which came when PCCs were established and between us we have made progress that puts Staffordshire in an enviable place for the future.
“Jane Sawyers is an excellent Deputy Chief Constable and I believe she has the attributes needed to be a Chief Constable. There is of course a formal process I must follow, in the mean time I have asked her to be interim Chief Constable.”
Mr Cunningham was appointed as Chief Constable of Staffordshire Police in September, 2009.
A graduate in theology from Durham University, he joined the Lancashire police in 1987 after working for two years as a teacher..